Zenith: 1975 Charles Vermot Limited Edition

In tribute to the world’s first chronograph, Peter Szymaniak looks to the latest incarnation of a beloved Zenith limited edition – the 1975 Charles Vermot

Very few brands can claim such an important role in the history of pioneering movements as Zenith and the extraordinary El Primero calibre – the world’s first ever automatic chronograph. Its release in 1969 marked a horological revolution, and whilst many will know of the famous 36,000 vph (vibrations per  hour) frequency, few will realise that this esteemed movement was nearly lost had it not been for visionary watchmaker Charles Vermot. At the height of the Quartz Crisis watch boom in 1975, Vermot was responsible for hiding the production tools required for automatics. Without this sharp foresight then perhaps the much loved El Primero calibre would not be around today. As a result, Zenith honour the watchmaker with an annual 1975 limited edition.

The “El Primero Chronomaster Power Reserve, Tribute to Charles Vermot” is a truly exceptional piece to add to a collection thanks to an abundance of prestige and unrivalled craftsmanship. The opening on the unique blue sunray–patterned dial reveals the beating heart of the El Primero movement and the intricate silicon escape wheel and lever at work. If you are a fascinated by the inner workings and the complex engineering of mechanical watches, it doesn’t get much better than this. The attention to detail is unparalleled from the satisfyingly smooth curves of the power reserve indicator to the “Cotes de Geneve” motif stamped on the chronomaster’s oscillating weight.

As well as its eye-catching appearance, the chronomaster boasts high level precision and functionality. Its C.O.S.C certified movement is equipped with a 50 hour power reserve to complement its well noted accuracy. The geometric lines of the case match perfectly with the protective rubber lined blue croc strap, whilst 42mm dial works well with a versatile array of both smart and casual wear. The “El Primero Chronomaster Power reserve, Tribute to Charles Vermot” is a limited edition timepiece that balances delicate craftsmanship, horological precision and iconic design. This, combined with the long history of Zenith and its fine watchmaking tradition, mean this is a highly desirable piece to be coveted by any serious watch collector, now available online and in-store.